Boomers have labeled younger generations many times themselves.
Generation Z has started a war against the Boomers with the phrase “OK boomer.” Many people of the now older generation take offense to this phrase, with some going so far to claim it’s a slur. But when the older generations have called us actually harmful terms like “snowflakes” and “lazy kids,” it’s hard to take their claim of offense seriously. Many millennials have also latched onto the phrase, with some even claiming that they started it.
“OK boomer” began in late 2018 on Tiktok, but it only recently became a viral sensation when news articles began to be published about it. The meme many older people feel uncomfortable and that they were being made fun of. The reason for the phrases existence stems from the fact that many younger people feel that they were being ignored and condescended to. Many times well-considered l political arguments from younger people would only be responded to by older people with “you’re too young to know what you’re talking about.”
This is the younger generations come back to the idea that they don’t know anything. Instead of tirelessly fighting against rascist, homophobic or just plain ignorant claims, younger people have decided to ignore them. Many young people have had those arguments with their parents and still continued to be ignored, saying “OK boomer” turns those tides and puts it back on the older generation.
It’s ironic that baby boomers are upset at this term when they tried to name younger generations things like generation me, IGen or, as one baby boomer suggested once, “thumbies.” Boomer refers to what they are and the ideas that many of their generation hold. It’s a form of call out for when someone says something idiotic or ignorant. Is it offensive? A little. But being told that your entire generation is “snowflakes” because we want true equality in our lives is a little bit more offensive.
Millenials and Gen Z are the most diverse and educated generations within America and have recognized the ignorance of the generations before them. Choosing to call out these backwards ideas shouldn’t be a problem. Being told “OK boomer” after saying something racist should make you feel bad, because the racist thing you just said made someone else feel even worse and possibly even dehumanized them.
Baby boomers are uncomfortable at the prospect of younger people being in power and outnumbering them. Younger people have always thought that older generations were wrong or uneducated, and older people always see those younger than them as children. The children that boomers used to see have grown up in a world filled with unjust policies and are tired of living in a society where that’s okay.
This isn’t an attack on the entirety of the generations preceding them, it’s specifically against those that complain about the younger generation changing the world for the better. We’re tired of hearing “back in my day” in order to support an ideology that hurts people. We’re tired of hearing “kids these days are so sensitive” and that we’re all “special snowflakes.”
The arguments that the younger generation have given, yelled about and even died for have been ignored by people. Saying “OK boomer” is an acknowledgement that your outdated and offensive idea has been heard, and it’s being ignored.